When you choose to drive a car or any other road vehicle, you do so aware of the risks of experiencing a road traffic accident. This awareness should encourage you to apply caution when you are using your vehicle, so you do all you can to minimise the risk of a road-related accident.
Unfortunately, The Highways Agency found that this assertiveness isn’t instinctive for a number of drivers, whose actions are therefore, increasing the risk of vehicle collisions.
Increasing road accidents risks: Illegal hard shoulder stops
The Highways Agency has found that between the period of July and September 2013, a total number of 2062 drivers stopped on the hard shoulder when there was no emergency. In addition to this finding, The Highways Agency has reported a number of ridiculous reasons that drivers have stated for their unlawful hard shoulder stop off.
The culprits included grandparents who chose the spot to photograph their grandchild, biking enthusiasts who stopped for a chat and a mobile phone operator who chose the hard shoulder as an ideal location to test mobile signals. Among the most obscure reasons was an individual who chose to pull over to pick roadside flowers.
It should seem obvious that these are not legitimate explanations for a hard shoulder stop. As such, the drivers involved are responsible for unnecessarily increasing the risk of motorway accidents. Incorrect use of the hard shoulder can result in points being added to your licence and a £60 fine.
Avoiding motorway accidents: How to use the hard shoulder safely
When you choose to travel on the motorway, it is your responsibility to ensure you know how to use them correctly. While you may feel confident in driving, knowing the laws and codes for motorway use is integral and minimises the risk of road-related accidents.
The Highways Agency enforcement co-ordinator, Jamie Hassall, reiterated, “Every day, millions of people use our motorways. Most of them use the hard shoulder correctly and don’t ignore red X’s, but we are appealing to the few who put themselves, other road users, and those working on motorways at risk.
“Where the hard shoulder is used as an additional traffic lane at peak times, you can only drive on it if there is a speed limit over it. When a red X is displayed over any lane, it’s simple – don’t drive on it.”
Accident Advice Helpline
Call today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile for a free initial consultation regarding your road traffic accident, with no pressure your pursue your claim.